Giraffe kills local filmmaker

A local filmmaker has been killed by a giraffe while filming at a game lodge near Johannesburg.

Carlos Carvalho died at Netcare Milpark Hospital on Wednesday night.

He was filming a feature when the incident occurred at Glen Afric Country Lodge in Hartbeespoort in the North West.

Netwerk24 reported that Carvalho was taken to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg by helicopter, where he died later in the evening from his head injuries.

"When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos," Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge, told Netwerk24.

The giraffe, who is called Gerald, will remain at the lodge.

"He did nothing wrong," Brooker said.

In 2014, Carvalho, who was the director of photography for The Forgotten Kingdom, the first feature film produced in Lesotho, won the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography at the 14th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Gala held in New York.

Read more here: Sesotho film wins award for best cinematography in New York

After studying photography at the Port Elizabeth Technikon, Carvalho joined the film industry as a runner in 1992. In 2002 he lit a public service announcement for Childline, which was very successful and won a Silver Lion at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. He worked on TV commercials, feature films, documentaries and corporate infomercials, and had won several awards over the years.

Andrew Mudge, writer and director of The Forgotten Kingdom, posted on Facebook that he was "absolutely gutted" to learn of Carvalho's death.

He described Carvalho as "one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and talented" people he had ever worked with.

"He had a quiet wisdom to him, and when he listened –  which he always did – he did so with his whole being. My heart goes out to his wife and kids. Thank you Carlos. You made us better filmmakers, and better people. One of the luckiest breaks I've had in life was being able to call you my friend," he said.

CEO at CallaCrew Jan Bowden wrote on Facebook that it was with a very sad heart that they had to announce the passing of Carvalho, "one of our favourite DOPs".

"Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set. He was flown to Milpark Hospital but succumbed to his injuries at 20:50 last night. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Carlos' family and friends during this very sad time. He will be sorely missed," he said.